16 years ago today, on August 17th, 1999, Turkey lived one of its darkest days. Having taken place at 03:02 with its Gölcük as its epicenter, the earthquake took thousands of lives within 45 seconds. With this reality of an earthquake in mind, the Municipality of Ümraniye began a series of projects. In August of 2012, the Municipality carried into effect the ‘Disaster Information System’ (Afet Bilgi Sistemi - ABIS) mobile application.
Named as the disaster of the century, the August 17th, 1999 Marmara Earthquake left a mark on memories with its painful balance sheet. Having been felt primarily in provinces of Kocaeli, Sakarya, Yalova, and Istanbul, and causing great devastation in nearby cities and provinces, the earthquake was felt in a region that spread all the way from Ankara to Izmir, and cost thousands of lives.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE EARTHQUAKE, TWO BIG PROBLEMS EMERGED: “TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION”
Due to the heavy traffic generated by people flocking to the earthquake region, TEM and E5 were locked. While the traffic made it difficult for the injured to be dispatched to hospitals near the earthquake region, it also delayed vehicles with aid access to the region. This situation revealed once again the importance of immediate disaster situation policies to be implemented before and after earthquakes.
PRECAUTIONS FOR PLAUSIBLE DISASTERS HAVE BEEN TAKEN IN ÜMRANIYE
The Municipality of Ümraniye signed off on a first with its “Disaster Information System” (ABIS) on the 13th anniversary of the August 17th Earthquake. The Ümraniye Municipality put forth its ABIS smart map to its residents via its webpage. With the implementation of the project, in case of a potential disaster, all information within ABIS will be available for mobile access by municipal teams and concerned institutions and disaster response will be be done within the scope of this information.
Within Ümraniye’s ABIS’s ‘Smart Map’ all post-disaster gathering areas, temporary housing/tent areas, priority roads, alternative roads, civilian evacuation routes, sites for setting up field hospitals, all hospitals, pharmacies, drug stores, traffic control points, and disaster locations are shown. It also includes vital information such as advanced advanced distribution and logistics spots, water stations, bakeries, cold storages, all public institutions, municipal service buildings, neighbourhood chief’s offices, police spots, water valves, fire hydrants, first aid coordination centers, hospitals, ambulances waiting spots, and gathering areas for the injured.
THE EMERGENCY HELP BUTTON WILL SAVE LIVES!
In case of any disaster that may occur, by using the “Emergency Help Button” citizens’ coordinate information will be sent immediately to the Call Centre. Because he/she can automatically locate where the information is coming from, the attending operator can direct the emergency response team in a swiftly and correct manner to wherever the signal is coming from.
MOBIL ABIS (Emergency action plans are now ready for mobile applications)
Within the scope of the Municipality of Ümraniye’s mobile application, the Mobil ABIS Map app with its access to 360 degree Photographs, Increased Reality and Emergency Help Button, is now active. In line with its vision of “Being a Sample Municipality in Services and Quality,” continuing their work since 2004, the Municipality of Ümraniye has developed emergency plans for mobile applications. Through these implemented applications, the goal has been to minimize the potential damages for citizens during and after disasters in terms of live and money.
INCREASED REALITY APPLICATION!
With “Increased Reality,” in case of a disaster the identities and number of individuals living in area can be determined, and fastly and safely shared with the relevant institutions to help the disaster victims.
The 670 thousand citizens residing in Ümraniye can benefit from this system for free. Citizens will be able to reach all of the information necessary in case of a disaster via their mobile devices. Basic information, such as gathering spots, evacuation routes, field hospitals, and temporary housing spots, can be accessed through the application.
MAYOR HASAN CAN: "BY RENOVATING 60% OF ÜMRANIYE'S BUILDINGS WE HAVE MADE IT READY FOR AN EARTHQUAKE"
In an explanation concerning the topic, Ümraniye Municipal Mayor Hasan Can said, "On the anniversary of the Marmara Earthquake we commemorate our citizens who have died with peace. We hope to show solidarity in taking precautions against possible disasters, as we have shown in the past period of 16 years. Because Turkey is a country at risk of both natural and unnatural disasters, primarily earthquakes. However it is possible to minimize losses resulting from these disasters. For these reasons, we did not forget the earthquake and have taken our precautions! On the 13th anniversary of the August 17th Earthquake we have presented to our citizens an important service for Ümraniye. Because of its physical structure, advantages in ground and the renovations done on a majority of buildings since 2004, Ümraniye is one of the most prepared municipalities in Istanbul in case of an earthquake. As the Municipality of Ümraniye we have set up the Ümraniye ABIS in order to ensure coordinated function of all of our municipal institutions in disaster response and after response, as well as using resources efficiently to ensure minimize lives and monetary losses in a post-disaster situation. With Ümraniye's ABIS, citizens can easily access information on the necessary preparation needed before a disaster and easily create a Family Disaster Plan." Mayor Hasan Can also added that all information on the infrastructure of response and remedy work in case of a disaster are also available on ABIS.